<p>Coach of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Coach of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Benjamin 'Coach' Wade talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

Why will The Dragonslayer never play 'Survivor' again?
The last time I talked to Benjamin Wade after a "Survivor" season, the man they call "Coach" was still wrestling with the identity crisis of being designated a "Villain" for the "Heroes vs. Villains" installment. 
 
Back then, Coach was talking up the party line of playing a game of honor and integrity, but for the season time, he was espousing those virtues after a shorter-than-desired "Survivor" run.
 
When I caught up with Coach this week, it was after he made it a full season on "Survivor: South Pacific," going all the way to Day 39 and seemingly creating a powerful tribal alliance unified around those honor-and-integrity principles. 
 
Coach finished second in the "Survivor: South Pacific" Jury vote and there was a feeling that may people on the Jury would have given him the million if he'd only admitted that at certain points this season, his honor and integrity gave way to a more traditionally cutthroat game.
 
In our exit interview, Coach talks about why he may not be cold-blooded enough to win "Survivor," what worked for him in this season and why he'll never play "Survivor" again.
 
Click through for the full interview...
 
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<p>The &quot;X Factor&quot; Top 3</p>
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The "X Factor" Top 3

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Finale Live-Blog: Top 3 Performances

Chris Rene, Melanie Amaro and Burrito Josh sing for their millions

Wow. It's the start of the "X Factor" finale. It seems like only 20 or 30 years ago that we started hearing all of the hype about "X Factor" traveling across the Atlantic and like only three or four years ago that FOX premiered the first audition episodes and now it's down to three. 

Tomorrow night, FOX and Simon Cowell are going to give a $5 million recording contract to one of three artists who haven't a chance on God's Green Earth of justifying a deal that big based on any empirical standards. Nobody in their right mind would suggest that Chris Rene, Burrito Josh or Melanie Amaro could possibly sell as many albums as Scotty McCreery, but will any of them sell as many albums as "The Voice" winner Javier Colon? Because go check out his sales figures. Or check out the sales figures for Dia Frampton. 

Anyway, though...

FINALE PERFORMANCES! After the break...

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The Fien Print's TV Top 10 of 2011

Where do 'Game of Thrones,' 'Justified' and other favorites fit in?
If you're a regular podcast listener, I already revealed my Top 10 of 2011 in this week's Firewall & Iceberg. If you're not... This'll be new for you. And even if you already know the listing, you haven't seen my Top 10 with studio-recorded voiceover and superior editing from our video guru Alex Dorn.
 
As I discussed on the podcast, my Top 9 was pretty easy to put together. Other than specific placement between No.6 and No.9, there was almost no deliberation at all. 
 
The issue arose at No.10, where I had five or six shows that I wanted to place in that position. If you're going to cheat -- SEPINWALL!!! -- it's easy to find an extra place for an extra show and I could have come up with thematic reasons to pair, for example, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Archer." If I'd had the chance to see the "Boardwalk Empire" finale before the list was locked, it might have also made a stronger case than it did when the season was unresolved still.
 
But no matter. I'm happy with the show that rounds out my Top 10 list and many of the shows I regretted excluding will appear in my Second 10 blog post later this week and darned if I'm not going to cheat to find a way to get 13 or 14 shows into that Second 10. 
 
This list has what I think is a good mixture of the various types of shows that made 2011 such a solid year on the small screen. I've got a couple comedies, a couple costume dramas, a couple thrillers, a fantasy, a sports drama and TV's *best* show about vampires and werewolves [Suck it, "True Blood"].
 
Anyway, sound off on my Top 10 below. I'll post my Second 10 on Friday, I think.
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<p>Albert of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Albert of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Albert Destrade talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

The season's third place finisher makes his case for the million
Although "Survivor" shifted to a three-person finale back in the "Cook Islands" season, Jury votes turned nearly every season into a two-castaway contest, leaving one finalist suffering the ignominy of a Jury shutout.
 
In the case of "Survivor: South Pacific," the castaway who left Sunday (December 18) night's finale voteless was Albert Destrade, who finished third behind Sophie Clarke and Coach.
 
Throughout the season, Albert never lacked for confidence and he headed into the final Tribal Council convinced he'd trounce his rivals and take the million.
 
Instead, Albert chatted with me on Monday morning still irked at the Jury shutout, but also irked at himself for not properly positioning himself as the season's mastermind, which he believes himself to be.
 
In our exit interview, Albert passionately makes his case for his influence on this "Survivor" season, while also lamenting the moves he didn't make that could have won the game for him.
 
Click through and see if you've been swayed to Albert's cause [Coach's exit interview tomorrow, followed by Sophie's the following day.]...
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 108 - Best of 2011

Dan and Alan go through the year's TV highlights

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls.
 
It's time for our special Best of 2011 Podcast.
 
In this podcast, Alan and I discuss our Top 10 lists for the 2011 calendar year. Alan's Top 10 list is already up. Mine isn't. So I guess that makes it a surprise! Mine'll be up in video form in the next day or two.
 
Then, after a long discussion of the year's highlights, we spend a good chunk of time on the finale of "Homeland." It's a nice and extra-long podcast, which'll make up for the fact that next week's podcast -- Worst of 2011!!! -- also won't go up before Tuesday. 
 
As a caveat, I say "s***" once during this podcast. While that would barely earn this podcast a PG rating, we know some of you listen with impressionable youngsters. Or something.
 
Anyway...
 
Today's basic breakdown:
TV's Best of 2011 (04:15 - 01:13:00)
"Homeland" finale (01:13:15 - 01:31:00)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

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<p>Ozzy of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Ozzy of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Ozzy Lusth talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

Ozzy spills on Coach, Cochran and whether he's done with 'Survivor'
When you get deep enough into "Survivor," every little mistake is a Million Dollar Mistake, even when you're widely regarded as one of the best challenge players in the game's 23-season history.
 
For Ozzy Lusth, the third time was very nearly the charm. 
 
After withstanding two tours of duty on Redemption Island, Ozzy returned to the game, won his first Immunity challenge back and stood one challenge away from facing an overwhelmingly Savaii-heavy Jury just itching to vote for him.
 
And the challenge seemed perfectly tailored to Ozzy's strengths, a puzzle that could only be completed after a five-tier obstacle course. After completing the obstacle course with a predictably big lead, it was the puzzle that stymied Ozzy. Instead, Sophie finished the puzzle, won Immunity, secured Ozzy's eventual Jury vote and won the prize Ozzy hasn't been able to take home.
 
In our exit interview, Ozzy discussed his America's Player consolation prize, his feelings about Coach and Cochran and his thoughts on someday playing "Survivor" for a fourth time.
 
Click through for the full Ozzy interview and check back over the next few days for my exit interviews with Coach, Albert and Sophie...
 
 
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<p>Claire Danes of &quot;Homeland&quot;</p>
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Claire Danes of "Homeland"

Credit: Showtime

HitFix Interview: Showrunner Alex Gansa discusses the 'Homeland' finale

What happened? What didn't happen? And what's coming up next?
Showtime's "Homeland" wrapped up its acclaimed first season on Sunday (December 18) night, just days after snagging a slew of Golden Globe nominations, including Best Drama Series and nods for stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. 
 
Of course, it's become the de rigueur rite of passage that any and all drama finales must instigate blog wars over whether or not they went far enough or delivered closure enough. You can follow that heated discussion over on Sepinwall's recap.
 
On Monday, I got on the phone with "Homeland" showrunner Alex Gansa, who co-created the drama (based on an Israeli format) with fellow "24" veteran Howard Gordon. 
 
We discussed the explosive (and in some cases not-so-explosive) finale, where "Homeland" is headed in Season Two and what it means to have guts when determining the fate of characters.
 
Click through for the interview, which obviously includes spoilers...
 
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<p>&quot;Survivor&quot; host Jeff Probst</p>
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"Survivor" host Jeff Probst

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' Finale - 'Loyalties Will Be Broken'

Would Coach or Ozzy get Redemption? Or would somebody else win?
Blind melon. We begin on Redemption Island, where Brandon arrives to greet the predictably snoozy Ozzy. "I got blindsided," Brandon explains, admitting that it hurt to get stabbed in the back by his closest friend. Then Brandon gives Ozzy a partial explanation for that alleged blindsiding. "He wasn't blindsided. He gave up the freakin' Immunity necklace," Ozzy says aptly, calling Brandon's strategy "a blind faith game." This is the smartest and most analytical Ozzy has ever seemed.
 
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<p>Edna of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Edna of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Edna Ma talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

The latest 'Survivor' castoff discusses Upolu's lack of end-game strategy
The run of bitter Savaii "Survivor: South Pacific" exit interviews is finally over.
 
After a month of speaking to castaways still grumbling about John Cochran and his game-changing flip-flop, it's finally time to change gears and talk to the members of the now-cannibalizing (not literally, but in a voting sense) Upolu tribe.
 
Up first is Edna Ma, the 35-year-old anesthesiologist who found herself in sixth place on the Upolu totem pole and was voted out two weeks ago. On this week's episode, the diminutive Edna faced off against Ozzy in a Redemption Island Duel built around the completion of consecutive puzzles. 
 
Although it was a challenge that seemed to give Edna a fighting chance against the physically stronger Ozzy, it ended up being the latest in a string of Duel victories for the All-Star. 
 
In her exit interview, Edna discusses the Duel, her frustrations with her fellow castaways and the first night piece of bad luck that doomed her. We barely mentioned Cochran at all.
 
Click through...
 
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<p>Burrito Josh of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Burrito Josh of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Semifinals Results Live-Blog - Who went home?

Would Marcus, Chris, Burrito Josh or Melanie be heading home?

It never fails. Every week we gather together on Thursday and I say that we're on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty and every week something gets in the way and Marcus Canty survives.

But tonight, we're TOTALLY on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty, aren't we?

Let's find out...

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